Health officials in Colorado issued an order Thursday instructing a Christian school to implement COVID-19 protocols or risk being shut down.
Resurrection Christian School (RCS) in Loveland was ordered to perform a series of measures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID within the school.
According to the order, 36 confirmed and 12 possible cases were reported at RCS since the start of the school year on Aug. 17.
"LCDHE is concerned about the health of the students, staff, and visitors of RCS and the failure thus far to effectively implement any control measures. It has resulted in additional cases and unnecessary risk to those in the school," reads the public health order. "Maintaining in-person learning is the primary goal, but this cannot be possible if the outbreak continues and cases increase."
County health department spokesperson, Kori Wilford, told the Coloradan that "if additional measures such as wearing masks, increased distancing and improving ventilation are not effective in stopping an increase in cases, a closure would be the next step to protect public health."
The county is requiring RCS to comply with the following steps:
- Implement universal masking for students, staff, and visitors (for at least 14 days, through Sept. 26, or until the outbreak is resolved)
- Maintain at least 3 feet of distance in classrooms and 6 feet when possible
- Cohort students
- Compile seating charts, rosters, and vaccination status for all students and staff
- Conduct contract tracing for quarantine of all close contacts who were not fully vaccinated or had tested positive in the last 90 days.
But the school's superintendent, Jerry Eshleman said parents can choose whether or not their child should wear a mask or get vaccinated.
"RCS proudly supports its parents' rights to make the decisions you feel (are) best for your children," Eshleman said in a Sept. 7 email. "We are not a place of public accommodation. We are a private, Christian school and operate outside of the public school model and domain."
Christian Today reports that RCS has sought legal counsel and is currently reviewing the matter with attorneys.
Eshleman said students are eager to learn and excited to be at school.
"I had kids getting out of their cars, thanking me for keeping school open," he noted.
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